Current position: Superintendent of Schools, Gorham School Department, Gorham, Maine.
Recent accomplishments: Heather serves as a member of the AASA, the School Superintendents Association Executive Committee and as a member of the Maine School Superintendent Association’s Executive Committee. She is on the Board of Jobs for Maine Graduates. In addition, she mentors young women as a volunteer through Olympia Snowe’s Women’s Leadership Institute.Dissertation
Title: The Economic Impacts of School Closure in Rural Maine
Abstract: The purpose of this case study research was to examine the economic impact of school closures on three rural communities in Maine. I created a conceptual framework around six healthy community economic markers. Each of the six markers are studied in 2010 when schools were closed and then again in 2016. This data, in addition to perceptions data from stakeholders in each of the three communities was studied to determine if the closure of the school had any impact on these healthy economic markers. Findings suggest that there were no negative impact to the economic markers studied within the three sample communities that could be attributed solely to the closure of the school. The research did uncover that even though schools were closed to save money and reduce taxes, the fact of the matter is that in two of the three communities studied this cost savings never occurred, nor did a reduction in taxes. Further research is needed to build off this study in order to better inform state and local policy makers who are having to consider whether or not to close schools now and in the future.